Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Egregious limitations on speech

Politically, the darkest hour for the Bush Administration came when the President signed the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, more commonly known as the McCain-Feingold bill. The President himself believed the bill was unconstitutional but instead of exercising his veto to protect the Constitution, he signed the bill and hoped that the Supreme Court would strike it down. When the Supreme Court decided that the Free Speech Clause did not mean what it said, the Constitution suffered tremendous damage.

In the Washington Examiner, the capital's equivalent of the New York Sun, former Federal Election Commission Chairman Bradley Smith shreds Feingold's defense of the McCain-Feingold bill, and Smith's conclusion is all too true:

Sen. Feingold can say what he wants, but he cannot deny that the explicit purpose of McCain-Feingold was to reduce the political speech of American citizens. After four years, what have we gained for surrendering this freedom? Is Congress less corrupt? Less controlled by special interests? Is public policy better? Are campaigns more focused on issues? What tangible benefit has been gained? I submit that the answer is none.

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